All lined up for another great Rotary meeting!
SPOKES VOL. LXVI NO. 46 -- June 16, 2020
More than 40 members joined us again this morning via ZOOM. President-elect Dan Thompson chaired our meeting and we began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Art Ayers offered our
invocation, offering special prayers to Mike Livovich and for understanding and caring in our country.

Our guests this morning included Rev. Jeffrey Dick, Ron Wise and our speaker Dr. Mathew Dommer and ????
 Our next club meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd at 7:00 AM via ZOOM. We will continue to meet weekly via ZOOM until we can meet face to face in a safe environment.
 Dan thanked all of the volunteers for a number of service activities, including the food truck, potting soil on the bridge planters and those who will show up today to plant flowers
on the bridge.
 At last week’s District Conference our club was recognized for two accomplishments: Our contributions to Rotary International of more than $100 per member per year and for our 11% membership growth.
 We received an nice thank you note from We Care for our contributions to their organization, including food, personal care and utilities pantries.
 The educational fundraiser has been canceled and the Board has elected to rescind the $100 mandatory donation for that event. However, we would like to continue to support the three items this fundraiser is associated with. This includes the LMC Scholarship fund, the South Haven Public Schools Foundation and our own Rotary Scholarship. Members are urged to make a donation to our Educational Fund, hopefully of at least the usual $100. You can do that by sending your contribution to Bob Straits indicating your donation to that fund or any of the groups supported by it.
 If you have not received the club survey, sent out on Friday, check your junk or spam email. Please respond to the survey at your earliest opportunity and feel free to use the comment section.
 The Board has canceled the pancake breakfasts for this summer and president-elect Bill Roberts has assembled an activities committee to look at alternate fundraising and social activities.

Dan Thompson presented retiring SHAES Executive Director Ron Wise with a plaque commemorating his many years of service to our community. Ron began working for what was then the South Haven Fire Department in 1989 and became the executive director in 2008, leading to the growth of an outstanding emergency services organization serving South Haven and the surrounding communities. Well done and congratulations, Ron!
Pete Swanson was our 50/50 winner this week and Tom Fleming won our virtual $2 prize.

 Art Ayers is celebrating a birthday today!
 Pete Swanson’s daughter-in-law has a birthday this week.
 Steve Miles’ mom is celebrating her birthday this week.
 Rhonda Wendzel’s daughter will be a year older this week.
 Jeffrey and Lynn Dick are celebrating their 43rd anniversary this week.

 Bob Copping reported that Finland has closed its border preventing anyone from crossing the Finnish line.
Bob Straits introduced our speaker this morning, Dr. Matthew Dommer, CEO of Bronson Lakeview and South Haven Health Care.
Dr. Dommer has been in Van Buren County since 2001 in the health care business, including work in emergency care.

He began with an update on our new hospital. In spite of some hiccups, the building is on schedule. The outside work is just finishing up and paving work will start this week. Interior framing is going up, to be followed by drywall and painting. The $22 million structure will cover 52,000 square feet and will include all of the current services now provided in the current hospital. As is currently the situation, surgeries will be performed in Paw Paw or Bronson Kalamazoo. The building is scheduled to open in January, 2021 and a transition team has been assembled to handle the move.
The new facility will be much more efficient. It will also include a “History Wall” displaying the history of health care in South Haven. Our Rotary Club and District 6360 is supporting the History Wall project with a $5,000 grant.

The old building is in bad shape and will be demolished when empty, although it might be used for an emergency drills by emergency services organizations.

As part of the move, a new plan/program for scheduling surgeries and procedures has been developed that will help people get services faster, especially if they are willing/able to travel to various facilities.
Dr. Dommer spent some time talking about COVID-19. He said that being part of a larger organization will help our hospital survive. Many smaller hospitals will likely fold or be sold and even Bronson
Health Care has taken a $150 Million loss through this crisis.
He told us of the work done by our local facilities staff, led by Jacob Smith that turned four rooms and the whole former surgical suite into negative air flow rooms capable of taking care of COVID patients.

We have only had to treat only two COVID patients, who both recovered, so far but South Haven is prepared to either handle more patients or to handle non-COVID patients to free up more beds in
Kalamazoo. Because of the flattened curve so far, they have opened up facilities for visitors for the time being.

Dr. Dommer said that one of the very important facilities to our community, the Wellness Center, is hoping to open on July 6th with expensive remedies in place.
He was pleased that the crisis has forced the fast adoption of telemedicine. Originally the plan was for a slower adoption of this service, giving people time to adjust to not seeing a doctor face-to-face and get used to using technology for health care. The crisis has forced this to happen much faster with better than expected results and is something we will see from now on. We are back to the house call days.
President Thompson presented Dr. Dommer with our new speaker’s gift, a gift certificate to a local business – this time to Taste – and thanked him for his interesting and informative presentation.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Our next meeting will be a virtual meeting on June 23rd. Details will arrive in an email from Mark or Dan.

June 23rd Program: We will present our Citizen of the Year Award to Heidi and Joel Gesiakowski. Following the presentation, Joel will present a ZOOMED breakfast cooking class.

Editarian: Dene Hadden